Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Special Guests

This month we have been enjoying the visits of two special guests.  Our first one is Samantha Adcock, our physician's assistant intern.  She is studying at Harding University and will graduate in December.  We offer an rotation here to any of the Harding senior PA students who speak Spanish.  She has done a great job seeing our patients and learning about the health care system here in Guatemala. Last week she went with her host family to visit someone in the national hospital and got to see first hand the scaled-down approach to inpatient care  (especially in the intensive care unit).  

Samantha, second from the right in the OR down at Clinica Ezell.  

Sam and Lisa in the cornfield.

Our next visitor is Michelle Goff of the Iron Rose Sister Ministries.  Michelle came down to teach a women's seminar for local area church members, covering the book of Philippians and the reality of depression and anxiety in a Christian's life and ways to address it.  We really appreciate her approach to teaching with lots of group participation and interaction.  Several women have commented on how much the material has opened their eyes and helped them see how God's word is applicable and reliable in our world still.

Michelle and Lisa in the cornfield!  Michelle jumped right in to clinic with  us on Saturday and prayed with patients after their consults.

Michelle and our translator extraordinaire, Maria Panjoj. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Runnin' Around

Our weekend has been one of work and play.  We are in Guatemala City, which has it's up sides and down.  We really enjoy walking around and checking out new things and partaking of the goodies that urban life has to offer, like movies, food options and swimming.  Yesterday Kemmel took me to a spice store that someone had recommended.  It was HEAVEN!  They had so many things that I have never been able to find here.  We will definitely be going back! Then as we were walking to get our favorite veterinary supply store (for flea drops for the kitty) we found an eyeglass clinic with great prices!  We got Kemmel a pair of single vision lenses with anti-glare and anti-scratch coating for $125 including the exam.  Hallelujah!

As well as playing, we went around to a couple of dental supply houses to price some new dental compressors and central suctions systems for the Caris clinic.  We currently work with two compressors that are more than 25 years old.  Although they get the job done, they are not ideal, and one is beginning to show signs of giving up the ghost.  So, recently we received a generous donation (THANKS to our kind donor!) to purchase dental equipment, and we are thrilled to be able to shop around for keeps rather that just making a wish! 

I am always impressed at how much research Kemmel puts into running this medical and dental practice.  He is always in the know about equipment, medications, prices, payroll, human resources law and alternative ways of doing things. Every chance he gets with a mechanic, medical/dental equipment technician, or anyone in the field, he is asking questions and squirreling away info in his little notebook!  Yesterday he talked with different sales reps and technicians about compressor models, connection specifications and planning.  That's hard enough to think about in English, much less in Spanish.  We are blessed to have this guy!

It is an honor to work here and serve, and we are thankful for the resources God has given our supporting families and churches to help Health Talents carry out the mission.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fun at the Lake

We ended our week with our Eastside Church of Christ team with some days at Lake Atitlan and Antigua.  Here are some shots from our beautiful stay in paradise.

Trail from Santa Cruz to Jaibalito looking down on Casa del Mundo
Front to back: Nathaniel, Angeline, Wally, Alan on our way out to Isla Verde.

Donna and Wally and Benita and Kemmel enjoying the boat ride.

Benita and Allen showing everyone how it's done! (Photo credit: Alan Austin)

Leisurely breakfast on the lake. (Photo by Alan Austin)

Healing the Sick and Afflicted

As we mentioned, things have been hopping around here lately.  We are having heavy turnout at our Caris clinics lately, including people from 2-3 hours away.  Kemmel reminded folks of our weekly satellite central clinics in Saquilla, Chicua I, Mactzul I and Chuchipaca.  In addition to medical consults, our evangelist Gaspar has had lots of visits and invites to give classes in several areas lately. One pastor from another town invited him to come give an introductory class on Celebrate Recovery, which was a big success and was invited to come back with more.  Gaspar has been so helpful in Caris clinic when we have patients that need more followup spiritually.  He chats with them, gets to know the issues that they are facing, prays with them and makes an appointment to visit in the home if the family is in agreement.  On clinic days he has been relegated to the lab/sterilization room or kitchen as the only space available for semi-private conversation.  So, when the Eastside Church of Christ team came down, one of their projects was to put up a prayer gazebo for some added peaceful, private space. It has been a hit with patients and with Gaspar.  Thanks, Alan Austin and Wally Westlake and the generous congregation at Eastside!  We hope to get some greenery trailing up those trellis walls soon.

Part of our Eastside team after a long day of painting the clinic rooms and construction of the prayer gazebo.

Doesn't that look inviting?  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Catchin' Up

We have definitely fallen off of the writing wagon lately.  And it's not for lack of things to report. So we will have to claim being extra busy or lazy or both!  We have been seeing a steady increase in our clinic sizes lately and we are not sure why, but are very pleased.  Also, we have been notified by several churches in the area of  baptisms in the last month or two.  At least 15 new Christians that we know of.  We got to witness 8 baptisms from Mactuzul I last week, most ABC program teens and some young adults as well.

Last week we thoroughly enjoyed some fellowship, work and pampering from our home congregation group from Eastside Church of Christ.  They put together some fantastic school programs to present with the help from our scholarship students, and did some maintenance and construction work we needed at the clinic, and went out on community visits to deliver new water filters to ABC families.
School program at Chucalibal.  

Kade, Nathaniel and McClain getting ready behind the curtain.

Juanito, Tomas and Maria.  These kids were a hit!
Joining the team this year was Roxanne Tallon who is one of the volunteer counselors at Eastside. She gave a great workshop for our teaching scholarship students and ABC comunnity coordinators on how to provide a good learning environment for kids.

Roxanne setting up her door prize table!

Our class divided into groups to prepare presentation of info
We are suffering through a very dry rainy season this year.  A lot of people's corn crops are looking sad, and the ones that look good are probably going to have small ears of corn according to some folks.  So while we enjoy the warm sunny days, and the beautiful flowers and blackberries it is a little concerning to think about the future market prices for corn and other crops this coming year.

Flowers are loving the hot weather!

Sheri spent a week down at Clinica Ezell working with the cleft lip and palate babies as they prepared for and had their surgeries.  She reports a good week of hard work, but said the heat was so intense due to lack of rain, that the patients were lying on the tile floors to try to stay cool.  That's HOT, folks!  For some great pictures of the Ezell surgery week and our Eastside team check out Sheri's blog

Thanks for the prayers and encouragement you always send our way!

Blackberries showing off this week!  Yummy!